The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is mirroring what is being witnessed across much of the United States—that there is a devastating ammo shortage and getting back to normal will take months or even years.
Broadcast station WLUC, which serves the Central and Western Upper Peninsula of Michigan, recently reported that at the Lake Michigan Armory in Chocolay Township, “ammo supply is very low, and some customers are traveling all over just to find some.”
“I have people from Iowa, Indiana, and all around the country coming in, asking for ammo,” store manager Scott Shimon said.
“They’re basically traveling just buying ammo anywhere,” he added.
Shimon noted that the problem isn’t with the factories themselves but people who are all too eager to buy online once they are available.
“I have a customer at least every day that comes into our shop and just can’t believe that we don’t have a common .30-06 or a .30-.30 ammo on the shelf,” he said.
Similar issues are being seen at Wilderness Sports in Ishpeming.
“There’s a lot of stuff out there that we will not probably receive,” sales manager Ryan Pizziola claimed.
“So, people are having to make a few changes as far as calibers and shot for their shotguns and weights for their hunting rifles,” he continued.
Pizziola was able to pinpoint that the lack of available lead is leading to the ongoing ammo shortage.
“Most of the ammo manufacturers actually use used lead from car batteries,” he said.
“With the coronavirus, the lack of people driving, and two mild winters, the recycled lead is not available for ammunition,” he added.
From Florida to Pennsylvania
Such stories are all too familiar for other parts of the country. For example, in Florida, Mark Fiacable, who runs FloridaGunSite.com, recently told Forbes that ammo prices for some calibers have skyrocketed as much as four-fold in recent months.
Police and law enforcement agencies are being hit hard by the shortage as well. Baltimore County Police and other area law enforcement agencies are facing “critically low” supplies and busy trying to stock up on bullets and cartridges as quickly as possible.
“Baltimore County’s tactical unit—a group trained for special operations—nearly depleted its .223-caliber rifle cartridges at the end of July after the department’s ammo vendor, New Jersey-based The Gun Shop, couldn’t get them from the manufacturer it uses,” the Baltimore Sun recently wrote.
The shortage is also being witnessed at Cambria County Prison, according to Pennsylvania newspaper Tribune-Democrat. Warden Christian Smith has claimed that “there’s a six- to eight-month wait time for ammo, but the delay only slightly affects our operations.”
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.